Crypto Tidbits

Do you need new EPPs for the PCI PIN key block deadline?

Introducing PCI require key blocks!

Introducing TR-31 formatting of Key Blocks

The TR-31 key block format is a popular subject in security discussions in the world of electronic payment.

In order to strengthen security in management of cryptographic keys related to PIN encryption, PCI have set requirements to remove use of older key handling methods in payment solutions. According to these requirements, older EPPs not supporting TR-31 will have to be replaced.

The original deadline for introducing Key Blocks was in 2023, but it has been postponed till January 1st 2025 (see Visa).
A Key Block is a package of data (typically bytes) that forms a message used to pass a cryptographic key from one system to another.

A typical scenario in relation to PCI, is the transport of a key value from the Hardware Security Module (HSM) of the bank host system to an Encrypting PIN Pad (EPP) in an ATM installed at a branch office of the bank.